Fire Learning Network Prescribed Burns Postponed until 2016
The Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network has decided to postpone its prescribed burns until next year. The group had planned to conduct burns in two areas, Catamount and Sourdough, both in the Woodland Park area. However, weather and conditions were not ripe to move forward with the projects this year.
When a controlled burn is implemented, it is conducted under very specific parameters laid out after years of planning. Daily weather conditions play a key role in whether a burn can be accomplished or not. Due to moisture levels, weather forecasts and burn restrictions, the fire managers did not feel there was a window in which to initiate the burns at this time.
The Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network will revisit these projects in 2016 and will continue to keep the community apprised as to when they plan to move forward with these burns.
Please visit www.pikespeakfln.org for more information on these projects and to learn more about the Fire Learning Network.
The Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network is a group of stakeholders working together to foster the safe and appropriate use of fire as a management tool for reducing wildfire risks to communities, restoring forest resilience and enabling people and nature to better adapt to and co-exist with fire. More information can be found at www.pikespeakfln.org
Pikes Peak Prescribed Burns Scheduled to Begin Mid-October
October , 2015 – The Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network will conduct two prescribed fire projects this fall in the Woodland Park area. The Sourdough and North Catamount burns are scheduled to take place in mid to late October, exact dates will depend on weather conditions.
Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network is a collaborative group established to bring local and regional partners together to collectively identify and implement strategies for the safe, effective and appropriate use of fire for forest management.
“Prescribed fire is a highly effective land management tool that can greatly minimize the risk of unnaturally large and damaging wildfires, while improving wildlife habitat and strengthening the health of our landscapes and watersheds,” said Jason Lawhon, Fire Manager for the Colorado Nature Conservancy. “The Fire Learning Network brings together community members and fire and land management professionals to learn from each burn experience.”
The Sourdough prescribed burn will take place over a 14.8 acre area located north of Woodland Park. It will occur on private property off of Sourdough road just south of the Manitou Experimental Forest. Organized primarily through the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, North East Teller Fire and The Nature Conservancy, the goals of the project are to reduce hazardous fire fuels and increase understory grass and plant recovery after a previous forest thinning project.
The burn will take place any time after October 12. The exact date will depend on weather and fuel conditions. There will be one day of burning and crews will remain on scene for multiple days after the burn to monitor the fire until it is completely extinguished.
“Without prescribed fire, we as a society cannot hope to achieve the goals of forest resiliency, community protection, and watershed health,” said Jonathan Bruno, Chief Operation Officer of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. “These are all critical to protecting people, property, and ecosystems.”
The North Catamount prescribed burn will take place on a 105 acre area located on the
Colorado Springs Utilities’ North Slope Watershed near the North Catamount Reservoir.
Colorado Springs Utilities is the lead Network member on this project with goals of protecting water supply and infrastructure in its watersheds as well as improving forest heath and reducing fuels.
The burn is scheduled to take place any time after October 18 depending on conditions. There will be 1 to 2 days of burning with crews on the scene for multiple days after monitoring until it is completely extinguished.
“Over the past 20 years, multiple fuel reduction projects have been completed on the North Slope using hand crews and other mechanical techniques,” said Eric Howell, Colorado Springs Utilities Forest Program Manager. “Over time, however, wildfire conditions have increased. We can help mitigate risks effectively and safely through the implementation of prescribed fire.”
Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network is actively working with Colorado Air Pollution and Control Division to manage potential smoke impacts from the burns. When a controlled burn is implemented, it is conducted under very specific parameters laid out after years of planning. Daily weather conditions play a key role in whether a burn can be accomplished or not. The project fire managers will be evaluating conditions and forecasted weather to make the best decision on when to initiate these burns.
The Network is working to make sure that community members are kept abreast of information regarding these burns and hope to address any concerns and questions. Once the exact dates of the burns are known, the media and public will be notified. Up to date information will also be disseminated through the Pikes Peak Fire Learning Network twitter account, @Pikespeak_FLN with related hashtags, #SourdoughRX and #CatamountRX.
Community Meeting on Use of New Santa Fe Regional Trail Has Been Rescheduled to October 5
Interested Trail Users Encouraged to Attend
El Paso County, CO, September 23, 2015 – The community meeting on the New Santa Fe Regional Trail which was originally scheduled for September 28, 2015 has been moved to October 5, 2015.
El Paso County Parks is hosting the meeting to discuss public use of the New Santa Fe Regional Trail through the Air Force Academy. Interested residents are encouraged to attend the meeting on Monday, October 5, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at Academy International Elementary School, 8550 Charity Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
El Paso County has had an easement for the seven mile section of the New Santa Fe Regional Trail through the Air Force Academy since 1989. The trail section has been closed to general public use since May, 2015 due to an increased threat assessment by the US Northern Command.
El Paso County and the Air Force Academy have been in discussions regarding public access to the trail and an update on those talks will be provided. The public is encouraged to attend and provide input on the future use of the trail.
For further information, please contact County Parks at 520-7529.
Community Invited to Meeting on Use of New Santa Fe Trail Through U.S. Air Force Academy
Public May Provide Input on Future Trail Use
El Paso County, CO, September 14, 2015 – El Paso County Parks will host a community meeting to discuss the public use of the New Santa Fe Regional Trail through Air Force Academy property.
The meeting will be Monday, September 28, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offices, 4255 Sinton Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
El Paso County has had an easement for the seven mile section of the New Santa Fe Regional Trail through the Air Force Academy since 1989. The trail section has been closed for general public use by the Air Force Academy since May, 2015 due to security concerns.
El Paso County and USAFA have been in discussions regarding public access to the trail and an update on those talks will be provided. The public is encouraged to attend and provide input on the future use of the trail.
For further information, please contact County Parks at 520-7529.
CPW INVESTIGATION CONCLUDES BEAR NOT INVOLVED IN HUNTER'S INJURIES
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Wildlife officers from the Grand Junction area have completed their investigation of the reported bear attack and mauling on the Grand Mesa Saturday evening, concluding that the injuries to the individual were not caused by a bear.
The man, a hunter in his late 60s, was parked on his ATV on Forest Service Road 105, above Powderhorn Ski Resort, when he says a bear approached and attacked, causing him to drive over a small cliff into large rocks below. The crash resulted in extensive but non-life threatening injuries.
"We investigated this incident thoroughly over the last three days, including the use of specially trained dogs from the USDA's Wildlife Services, examination of the injuries, and forensic crime scene examination and we found conclusive evidence that a bear did not attack this individual," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager JT Romatzke. "This individual is certain that he saw a bear. We are not discounting that he saw something that caused him to react."
Romatzke adds that some of the initial media reports that a bear had attacked and mauled the individual, based on law enforcement scanner traffic, proved to be premature.
"People get very concerned about wildlife conflicts, and it is not helpful to cause unneeded alarm," said Romatzke. "Just like a typical crime scene, all possible conflicts with wildlife require extensive investigation to come to accurate, factual conclusions. It's important for the public to get the right information, especially when it comes to issues that potentially affect their safety."
The hunter's name is not being released.
Peace Run to Visit Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO – On Tuesday, September 22nd, Colorado Springs welcomes the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in partnership with the Al Oerter Foundation as part of a week long run through Colorado. The world's largest and longest torch relay run is in its 28th year and has accumulated enough miles to equal over 13-times around the circumference of the earth.
While in Colorado Springs, Cindy Stinger, who manages the USOC’s Olympians and Paralympians Association will receive the Torch-Bearer Award from the Peace Run team. Former recipients include Olympian Carl Lewis, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the European Union President.
The Peace Run, now in its third decade, has passed the Torch in over 140 countries giving hundreds of thousands the opportunity to express their own yearnings for a more peaceful world. The Colorado relay begins in Colorado Springs on Sept. 22 and will travel to Denver and Boulder covering approximately 200 miles.
The Al Oerter Foundation fosters character and integrity through sports and the arts. Cathy Oerter, wife of 4-time discus Olympic Gold medalist Al Oerter, will participate with the Peace Run in Colorado. She will speak with students about the values of respect, hard work and fair-play which inspires self-confidence and a passion for excellence in all avenues of life.
During its biennial relay that will start in April 2016 the Peace Run will cover over 10,000 miles in 4 months throughout the US, Mexico and Canada. The European relay goes through 49 countries and covers around 16,000 miles. The Asia-Pacific segment will go through 13 countries.
Along the Colorado route, the runners will make presentations at multiple schools, participate in local events and visit the Olympic Training Center. Heads of state, city officials, Olympians, Nobel Laureates and celebrities have all endorsed the Peace Run that had its beginning in 1987.
The Peace Run will visit the following schools in Colorado Springs:
1. 9am – Queen Palmer Elementary School, Yampa Street
2. 11am – CIVA Charter School, Northpark Drive
3. 2pm – Colorado Springs School, Broadmoor Avenue
Sri Chinmoy was an athlete, philosopher, artist, musician and poet who dedicated his life to advancing the ideals of world friendship and oneness.
For more information on the Peace Run and news from the participating countries please visit: www.peacerun.org
Julesburg, Holyoke and Sterling host 2015 route
DENVER — Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 — The fourth annual Denver Post Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour will launch from Julesburg, Colorado for a three-day, 155 mile journey through eastern Colorado’s high plains.
From Sept. 18-20, participants will ride to stops in three host communities: Julesburg, Holyoke and Sterling. Off the bike, riders will enjoy live performances by the Flobots and Rapidgrass Quintet.
“After four great years, Pedal The Plains is the best way to experience communities on Colorado’s eastern plains,” said Hickenlooper. “We are always excited to saddle up with friends and family while visiting some incredible towns.”
The ride across Colorado’s eastern plains is a celebration of the state’s growing cycling culture, combining great rides, delicious eats and close friends. Billed as “a ride for the rest of us,” Pedal The Plains is set in the heart of western agriculture, home of the frontier spirit that inspires participants to keep pedaling.
For the first time ever, the Tour’s route will roll across the border into Nebraska. Riders will pedal away the weekend between entertainment and festivities, eat meals made with locally raised beef, pork and lamb as well as local produce and stay in accommodations ranging from tents to bed and breakfasts. Participants can enjoy their time off the bicycle seat as much as on it. From pie-eating contests to Odell Brewing Co. beer gardens to live music and games, Pedal The Plains has it all.
The Denver Post Community Foundation, which has managed the internationally renowned cycling event Ride The Rockies through 30 successful years, is also the organizer for this uniquely Colorado event.
“Our world-class team running Ride The Rockies has successfully built Pedal The Plains into an annual end-of-the-cycling-season bash not to be missed,” said Dean Singleton, Chairman of The Denver Post.
Pedal The Plains will provide numerous economic benefits and opportunities for host communities’ lodging, restaurant, retail businesses, as well as entertainment, community meals, home stays and transportation.
Established four years ago, Pedal The Plains is a celebration of Colorado’s agricultural roots and the state’s frontier heritage on the Eastern Plains. 1,000 cyclists are expected to take part in this year’s ride.
Proceeds from the ride will benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation in support of the Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation and Colorado 4-H. Pedal The Plains and The Denver Post Community Foundation provide a $6,000 grant to both Colorado 4H and FFA, a $3,000 grant to each of the three host communities; the host communities then choose a local organization of their choice.
Viaero Wireless, the Tour’s presenting sponsor, is joined in supporting the ride by founding partners State of Colorado, Western Dairy Association, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy and Suncor Energy.
“There is no greater day for a homegrown community business than one where we have a chance to give back,” said Frank Dirico, President, Viaero Wireless. “We are excited to help bring Pedal The Plains to the communities of Julesburg, Holyoke and Sterling.”
Pedal The Plains’ ride offerings include the 3-Day Tour, Century Ride and Family Fun Ride. Online registration is closed, but walk-on registration is available for all of the Tour’s ride offerings. Visit www.pedaltheplains.com for more information.
In this week's SimpliCity, Matthew Schniper dips into how the Creek Week volunteer cleanup effort connects Fountain Creek's communities for the greater good. Fountain Creek Watershed advocates are hoping that a lot of us donate our time to pick trash from the banks during this year's Creek Week — September 26th through October 4th — or maybe adopt a stretch of the waterway to care for throughout the year. But, if for whatever reason you can't, here are five simple ways help year-round:
1. Scoop pet waste into the trash, or bury it at least six inches deep, away from vegetable gardens. Otherwise, bacteria and parasites can cause numerous illnesses.
2. If washing your car at home, use environmentally friendly detergents and park on a soft surface, like a lawn, if possible. Under the hood, ensure proper disposal of oils and chemicals to protect aquatic life, wetlands and downstream agriculture areas.
3. Fertilize with natural manures (ensuring non-composted manure does not reach gutters and sewer drains), and avoid pesticides, which can become runoff during storms and threaten the same ecosystems as oils and chemicals from car-washing.
4. Throw cigarette butts into the trash; filters can be ingested by birds and fish.
5. Carry reusable cloth totes for groceries to avoid plastic bags, one of the most common refuse items clogging waterways and impacting wildlife.Find more information about Creek Week and register to volunteer at fountain-crk.org.